Imatges de pÓgina
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Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never
Remember to have heard. Man's nature cannot carry
Th'amfiction, nor the force.

Lear. Let the great gods,
That keep this dreadful pudder o'er our heads,
Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch, (27)
That haft within thee undivulged crimes,
Unwhipt of justice. Hide thee, thou bloody hand;
Thou Perjure, and thou Simular of virtue, (28)
That art incestuous: caitiff, shake to pieces,
That under covert and convenient seeming,
Haft practis'd on man's life !>Close pent-up guilts,
Rive your concealing continents, and ask
These dreadful summoners grace.--I am a man,
More finn'd against, than finning.

Kent. 'Alack, bare-headed ? Gracious my Lord, hard by here is a hovel; Some friendship will it lend you ’gainst the tempeft: Repose you there, while I to this hard house (More hard than is the stone whereof?tis rais’d; Which even but now, demanding after you, Denied me to come in) return, and force Their scanted courtefy.

Lear. My wits begin to turn. Come on, my boy. How doft, my boy y art cold? I'm cold myself.' Where is the straw, my fellow? The art of our necessities is strange, That can make vile things precious. Come, your hovel;

(27) Tremble, thou wretch,] Thus Hirvenal in his 13th satire ;

Hi funt qui trepidant, & ad omnia fulgura pallent,

Cum tonat; &c. (28) Tbou perjur'd, and thou fimular man of virtue, ) The first Folio leaves out man in this verse; and, I believe, rightly to the poet's mind. He would use a fimular of vircue to signify, a false pretender to it; a diffembler, that wou'd make an outward shew of it: as he elsewhere employs perjure substantively, for a perjur'd creature, So in Love's Labour lofti

Why, he comes like a Perjure, wearing papers.
And so, in his Troublofom Reign of King Hubn, in two parts:
But now black-spotted Perjure as he is.

Poor

Poor fool and knave, I've one part in my heart,
That's forry yet for thee.
Fool. He that has an a little tyny wit,

With heigh ho, the wind and the rain;
Must make content with his fortunes fit,

Though the rain it raineth every day. Lear. True, my good boy: come, bring us to this hovel.

[Exita
Fool. 'Tis a brave night to cool a curtezan.
I'll speak a prophecy, or ere I go;
When priests are more in words than matter,
When brewers marr their malt with water;
When nobles are their taylors tutors;
No hereticks burn’d, but wenches suitors;
When
every

case in law is right,
No Squire in debt, nor no poor Knight;
When flanders do not live in tongues,
And cut-purses come not to throngs;
When usurers tell their gold i'th' field,
And bawds and whores do churches build :
Then shall the realm of Albion
Come to great confusion :
Then comes the time, who lives to see't,
That going shall be us’d with feet.

This prophecy Merlin shall make, for I do live before his time.

(Exit.

SCENE, An apartment in Glo'sier's castle.

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Enter Glo'fter, and Edmund. Gio.

natural dealing; when I desired their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of minc own house; charg'd me, on pain of perpetual displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for him, or any way sustain him.

Edm. Most savage and unnatural !
Glo. Go to; say you nothing. There is divifion be-

tween cam.

tween the Dukes, and a worse matter than that: I have receiv'd a letter this night, 'tis dangerous to be spoken; (I have lock'd the letter in my closet:) these injuries, "the King now bears, will be revenged home; there is part of a power already footed; (f) we must incline to the King; I will look for him, and privily relieve him; go you, and maintain talk with the Duke, that my charity be not of him perceiv'd; if he ask for me, I am ill, and gone to bed; if I die for it, as no less is threaten’d me, the King my old master must be relieved. There are strange things toward, Edmund; pray you, be careful.

[Exit. Edm. This courtesy, forbid thee, Tall the Duke Instantly know, and of that letter too. This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me That which my father lo es; no less than all. The younger rises, when the old doth fall.

[Exit.

SCENE changes to a part of the Heath,

with a hovel.

Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool. Kent. Ere is the place, my Lord; good my Lord,

enter; The tyranny o'th'open night's too rough For nature to endure.

[Storm ftill. Lear. Let me alone. Kent. Good my Lord, enter here.

(t) There is part of a power already landed.] This reading, notwith standing Mr. Pope's declaration in his preface, is not ex fide Cudi

All the authentick copies read, footed, i. e. on foot, on their march. If this gentleman's nice car was offended at the word in this place, how came he to let it pass updisturbid in some others? As, for instance, afterwards in this play;

And what confei’racy have you with the traitors,

late foored in the kingdom? And again. in Henry Vth.

Dispatch us with a:l speed, left that our King
Come here himself to quellion our delay;
For be is footed in this land already.

Lear.

Lear. Wilt break

my

heart? Kent. I'd rather break mine own; good my Lord, enter.

Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much, that this contentious Invades us to the skin ; fo 'tis to thee;

{storm But where the greater malady is fixt, The lesser is scarce felt. Thou'd ft shun a bear, But if thy flight lay toward the roaring sea,

Thou'dít meet the beari'th’mouth; when the mind's free, The body's delicate; the tempelt in my mind Doth from my fenses take all feeling else, Save what beats there. Filial ingratitude! Is it not, as this mouth should tear this hand For lifting food to't? — But I'll punish homme ; No; I will weep no more- -In such a night, To shut me out ?-pour on, I will endure : In such a night as this? O Regan, Gonerill, Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all O, that way madness lies; let me shun that; No more of that.

Kent. Good my Lord, enter here.

Lear. Pr’ythee, go in thyself; seek thine own eafe: This tempest will not give me leave to ponder On things would hurt me more but I'll go in, In, boy, go firit. You houseless poverty Nay, get thee in; I'll pray, and then I'll NeepPoor naked wretches, wherefoe'er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm! How shall your houseless heads, and unfed fides, Your loop'd and window'd raggedness defend you From seasons such as these? -O, I have ta'en Too little care of this! take physick, Pomp; Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, That thou may'st shake the superflux to them, And shew the Heavens more juft.

[Tom. Edg: within. Fathom and half, fathom and half poor

Fool. Come not in here, nuncle, here's a spirit; help me, help me. [The Fool runs out from the bo-vel.

Kent. Give me thy hand, who's there?
Fool. A spirit, a spirit; he says, his name's poor Tom.

Kent.

Kent. What art thou, that doft grumble there i'ch' Hraw ? come forth.

Enter Edgar, disguis'd like a Madman. Edg. Away! the foul fiend follows me. Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind. Humph, go to thy bed and warm thee.

Lear. Didst thou give all to thy daughters ? and art thou come to this? (29)

Edg. (29) Didst thou give all to thy daugbters? and art thou come to this:] Here Lear's madness first begins to break out. His mind, long beata ing on his afflictions, had laid a preparation for his frenzy: and nothing was wanting but such an object as Edgar, to set it on work, as it were by sympathy. In this our author has fewn an exquilite knowledge of nature; as he has, with no less propriety, diftinguith'd the King's real, from the other's alum'd passion. What Lear fay', for the most part, springs either from the source and fountain of his d.forder; the injuries done him by his daughters; or his defire of being reveng'd on them. What Edgar says, seems a fantafick wilde Dess, only extorted to disguise fense, and to blunt the fufpicion of his concealment. This makes it, that we are always must strongly af. fected with the King's madness, as we know it to be a real distress. But tho' what Edgar fays, seems extravagance of thonght, and the coinage of the poet's brain only, to the end already mention'd; yet I'll venture to assure my readers, his whole frenzy is satire levell’d at a modern fact, which made no little noise at that period of time: and consequenily, must have been a rapturous entertainment to the spectators, when it was first presented. The secret is this: While the Spaniards were preparing their armado against England, the Fcfuits were here bufily at work to promote the success by making converis. One method they used, to do this, was to disposiels pretended demcnacks of their own church: by which artifice, they made several hundred converts among the common people, and grew fo ela e usor their success, as to publish an account of their exploits in this wonderful talent of exorcising. A main scene of their business, in this seeming-holy discipline, lay in the family of one Mr. Edmund Pickbam; where Marwood a servant of Antony Babington's, (who was afterwards executed for treason) Travford an attendant upon Mr: Peike lam, and Sarah and Friswood Williams and Anne Smith (three chambermaids in that family) were suppoled to be poffefs'd by devils, and came under the hands of the priests for their cure. The parties either To little lik'd the discipline, or the jeluits behav'd with such ill ad. dress, that the consequence was, the imposture was discover'd: the demoniacks were examin'd; and their confeffions taken upon oath before the privy council. The whole matter being blown ur, the

criminals

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